Monday, October 8, 2018

Review of "Pioneer Farming in Iowa," by Edward J. Letterman

Review of
Pioneer Farming in Iowa, by Edward J. Letterman

Five out of five stars
 This book is a companion to the actual Living History Farm that is in Des Moines, Iowa. In it are described the ways in which the early pioneers of the state, generally before 1850, managed to live and produce. Many came with only what they could pack into a wagon, some came only with what they could physically carry.
 Entire families made the journey and men were able to claim a plot of unclaimed land, for most the planting of crops for food had to be the priority. Therefore, they either lived in their wagons or created a simple lean-to shelter from logs and grass or brush. Most of their raw materials and tools had to be made from locally acquired materials, other consumer items such as candles, clothing and soap also had to be made from what they had.
 As is mentioned many times, high and specific skills were needed to make these things. While wild game and fish was plentiful in most areas, it was always necessary to stock up for winter, when foraging was simply not possible. This is a look back to a time where people lived with very little yet managed to survive and in most cases thrive. There is no mention of the extreme hardships and short life spans that most experienced. Most people that lived to any significant age buried at least one spouse and some of their offspring.  

No comments:

Post a Comment